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Starring: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone, Abigail Breslin
Writer(s): Rhett Reese/Paul Wernick
Director: Ruben Fleischer

The Review

Zombieland presents itself as many different genres rolled up in one: a horror movie, a buddy road trip movie, an action-adventure, and mostly, a comedy. Thankfully, instead of just dropping the ball like movies that juggle a lot of genres tend to do, Zombieland mixes them together and forms a film that is not only fun, but actually pretty damn clever.

Columbus, the main character (played by Jesse "my sister was that annoying Pepsi Girl" Eisenberg) is a total wuss who has survived the zombie apocalypse by adhering to a set of rules he has devised (which includes gems like have good cardio, shoot twice to avoid the zombie coming back, etc.). While traveling, he runs into the redneck Tallahassee (Woody Harrelson), who takes delight and pleasure in the little things, especially when it comes to killing zombies. Tallahassee is just a man on the run, searching for the last Twinkee left on Earth. These two run into Little Rock (Abigail Breslin) and Wichita (Emma Stone), who first con them out of their car and weapons, but eventually the four decide to ride together and work as a group.

First off, let me just say: if you are looking for a traditional zombie movie, you are going to want to look elsewhere. First off, these zombies are runners (like the Dawn of the Dead remake or 28 Days Later) and aren't the dead come back to life so much as people with an infection. Second, while there are cool kills and some jumpy moments, it's more about the characters themselves rather than the zombies. They just show up at random intervals to screw their day up.

The film itself reminded me of a zombie film equivalent to the Scream series, where it is both a film of that genre and also very self-referential. The rules that Columbus lives by mirrors the rules to survive a slasher movie Jaime Kennedy's character utters in Scream.

Zombieland is an absolute blast. All the actors in the film look like they are having the times of their lives, especially Harrelson as the bumbling Tallahassee. There also features a cameo by a Hollywood celebrity, but to ruin it would be sacrilege and completely mean of me. The kills are fun and inventive, and the characters all interact in a believable and funny way. The jokes hit, and the less than serious tone works way better than you would expect (though not as comedic as Shaun of the Dead).

If you want a good bang for your buck, see Zombieland. It's well-made, funny, and a great way to forget about any of the other drivel you may have seen this weekend (coughINVENTIONOFLYINGcough).

FINAL VERDICT:
A-

 


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